Dear faithful,

The First Sunday of Advent is upon us, and with it begins a new liturgical year. Saint Paul exhorts us today: “ is now the hour for us to rise from sleep” (Romans 13;11-14). It is time to cast off our works of darkness and take heed of this fact: Our Lord Jesus Christ has won the ultimate victory over the world, the flesh and the Devil. We have no excuse to delay the work of our conversion; God is calling us to take concrete steps now so that the victory of His Son would be made man- ifest in our souls; transforming them. How do we do this?

One method that all spiritual writers and moral theologians insist on is by means of particular resolutions, as are made for example at the beginning of the season of Lent. Such resolutions can vary widely; there are indeed endless possibilities. One soul might have need of the following resolution: “I will focus on growth in the virtue of patience by calling to mind Our Lord as He carried His cross up the Hill of Calvary.” Another might have greater need of this one: “I will practice the virtue of temperance at meals by remembering these words of Our Lord: ‘Man does not live by bread alone.’”

Whatever your Advent resolutions may be, know that you are not in this alone. Despite our many infidelities, God remains by our side in these ever-darker times. He is our Father, our Light, and He will continue to aid us by His most powerful graces. Why not begin Advent therefore with a good confession and at least one particular resolution? Be sure to confide all of your efforts to the care of the Blessed Virgin, with whom we joyfully await the coming Christ Child.

Please note that with the beginning of Advent, the Marian antiphon changes to the Alma Redemptoris Mater. Copies are available in church.

Marian Antiphon PDF

photo of Canon Norman by Jason Mispagel